Marlins cut former Phillies prospect traded for Justin Bour

A general view of baseballs (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
A general view of baseballs (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

A former Phillies pitching prospect — acquired for Howie Hendrick and traded for Justin Bour — has been released

With the 2020 Major League Baseball season set to gear up next month, transactions around the league are surely to pick up as teams set their rosters. The most recent transactions for the Philadelphia Phillies include coming to terms last week with some of their 2020 MLB Draft picks, as well as with several undrafted free-agent pitchers.

This week, however, the Miami Marlins made some subtractions, rather than additions, releasing a former Phillies prospect — southpaw pitcher McKenzie Mills. The 24-year-old was among 30 recent Marlins roster cuts, as reported by Baseball America.

The Phillies had acquired the Georgia native in Mills from the Washington Nationals in July 2017 in exchange for Howie Kendrick, who would go on to help their division rivals win the World Series, without Bryce Harper, last fall.

In August 2018, the Phillies dealt the prospect to the Marlins in exchange for first baseman Justin Bour, who slashed just .224/.296/.347 with four extra-base hits, five RBI, four walks and 13 strikeouts spanning 29 games and 54 plate appearances in red pinstripes.

Bour signed on with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2019 season, but the former top-five National League Rookie of the Year Award finisher hit an even worse .172/.259/.364 across 52 games as teammates with Mike Trout. He remains a free-agent today.

Similar to Bour, Mills, did not see his numbers improve when dealt to a new organization. Before being traded away from the Phillies’ Advanced-A Clearwater Threshers affiliate in 2018, Mills combined to post a 3.51 ERA and 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings ratio across 20 games, 16 starts and 89 2/3 frames.

Combined since, with the Marlins’ Double-A Jacksonville affiliate, however, Mills posted an 1-11 record, 5.81 ERA, and 82-36 strikeouts-to-walks ratio across 100 2/3 innings.

The Phillies parting way with Mills in August 2018 was one of three trades made that month by Matt Klentak, following the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, as the club tried to capture last-season magic under first-year manager Gabe Kapler. Other acquisitions included outfielder Jose Bautista from the New York Mets and left-handed reliever Luis Avilan from the Chicago White Sox.